The A’s gave their subpar farm system a shot in the arm on Monday by landing four prospects from the Braves for Matt Olson, headlined by power-hitting catcher Shea Langeliers.
Langeliers ranked No. 131 on our RotoProspects Top 500 Rankings before the trade, but falls to No. 158 due to the downgrade in ballpark. He goes from the Braves’ No. 3 prospect to No. 3 on the A’s list, behind another catcher in Tyler Soderstrom.
The Braves took Langeliers ninth overall in the 2019 draft out of Baylor, where he had made a name for himself as the top defensive catcher in the draft class. After struggling in his first pro season at Low-A in 2019 and missing the 2020 season due to the pandemic, Langeliers took off last season with 22 homers in 92 games at Double-A before getting promoted to Gwinnett for five games at Triple-A.
Here’s where defense can matter in fantasy, as Langeliers is far superior to Soderstrom behind the plate, which could allow him to stick at catcher while Soderstrom may wind up in an outfield corner or at first base. Soderstrom is also at least a year behind Langeliers, who should get a chance to establish himself as the A’s starting catcher before Oakland’s top prospect arrives in the majors.
Langeliers will need to spend at least a couple months in Triple-A and could reach Oakland sometime this summer, but may not get an extended run with the A’s until 2023.
If Langeliers can nail down a primary-catcher role due to his defensive chops, he could become a perennial All-Star candidate with 20-30 homers per season. Just don’t expect an average much above .250 as he strikes a lot and is as slow as you’d expect a 6-foot, 205-pound catcher to be.